The waterfront community planned at Al Raha Beach, is being re-examined says developer Aldar Properties.
Aldar puts Al Seef under review
Al Seef, a waterfront community planned for Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi, is under review as the developer, Aldar Properties, adapts the project to new market conditions. Robert Deatker, the project director of Al Raha Beach, said designs for Al Seef, which was launched in 2006, were being "tweaked". "We're reviewing the project to see what the right mix and balance is, and are talking to the Urban Planning Council to make sure we develop the right product for the right market," he said on the sidelines of MEED's Abu Dhabi Projects conference. Under the original design, Al Seef was to be situated within a canal system and include a mix of apartment buildings, villas, offices and retail outlets. Other projects at Al Raha Beach that have been fully or partly designed were also being reviewed, Mr Deatker said. Parts of the Al Dana financial district, which will include Aldar's new headquarters, are also being reconsidered. "To carry on constructing something that isn't quite what the market wants means we have to do reviews," Mr Deatker said. "The market has changed and Aldar needs to be agile to adapt." Meanwhile, the pace of phases two and three of Yas Island, another Aldar development, will be "a lot more deliberate and less frantic", according to Steve Worrell, the project director of Yas Island. The developer is focusing on the completion of the first phase, which includes the Dh1.46 billion (US$397 million) Formula One circuit, which needs to be finished in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Nov 1. "The project is very exciting and everyone's been focused on the end date from the very beginning," Mr Worrell said. "But we're reviewing our master plan and what the product's going to be to match the current situation." Work on the development's retail components had been delayed, he said, with the procurement of the design and execution of the 700-store Yas Mall not expected until the last quarter of this year. Mr Worrell told The National last month that the opening of the mall had been pushed back until March 2012 while the developer used the extra time to cut costs by 30 per cent. email@example.com